The Oscar Nominations – My Thoughts

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Another year of film has ended and so another awards season. The nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were released yesterday and the ceremony is due to be broadcast on February 22nd. I will look at each category separately and offer my thoughts and predict who will win.

So the biggest category…

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Imitation Game

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Selma

The Theory Of Everything

Whiplash

Predicted Win – Boyhood

A very interesting field of contenders here. I haven’t seen all the nominees yet but the most bizarre omission here is ‘Foxcatcher’. The Academy have nominated it for 5 Awards and it doesn’t show up here? This category allows up to 10 nominees and I thought they would actually fill the board this year but no, even less than the 9 films that were nominated last year. I’m surprised that ‘American Sniper’ managed to get on this list (I haven’t actually seen the film yet) but in terms of its critical reception, there is no doubt that it is the weakest of the bunch with a 73% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. ‘Foxcatcher’ would have been a much better addition as I’ve said (87%), or even ‘Wild’ (91%). Other than what I’ve mentioned, this is a very sensible (and somewhat easy to predict field). I will be surprised if ‘Boyhood’ doesn’t take the win.

Best Actor

Steve Carrell for Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Bradley Cooper for American Sniper

Michael Keaton for Birdman

Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything

Predicted Win – Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything

This, again, is a very predictable field with one bizarre nomination which again goes to ‘American Sniper’ for Bradley Cooper. I was hoping for either David Oyelowo for ‘Selma’, Jake Gyllenhaal for ‘Nightcrawler’ or Timothy Spall for ‘Mr Turner’ and before these nominations were even announced, I would’ve put money on one of these three nabbing the fifth spot (the other four were always locks). In terms of the win, I think it’s between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton. After the Golden Globes win for Redmayne, that’s who I’m betting on taking the win.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones for The Theory Of Everything

Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl

Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Reese Witherspoon for Wild

Predicted Win – Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Again, a very predictable field, shame that Jessica Chastain is not here for ‘A Most Violent Year’. Julianne Moore is most probably going to take the win here.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall for The Judge

Ethan Hawke for Boyhood

Edward Norton for Birdman

Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Predicted Win – J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Another very predictable set of nominees and again, J.K. Simmons should take the win here. What’s always baffled me here is the inclusion of Robert Duvall’s nomination – it never really garnered much attention and the film isn’t meant to be that great.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Laura Dern for Wild

Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game

Emma Stone for Birdman

Meryl Streep for Into The Woods

Predicted Win – Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

These acting nods are really predictable this year, aren’t they? No surprises here, all deserve their space and the win will almost certainly go for Patricia Arquette’s gutsy performance in ‘Boyhood’.

Best Director

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Predicted Win – Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Of course, Linklater must win for ‘Boyhood – the film has taken him 12 years to film after all! I don’t think the rest stand a chance here apart from possibly Iñárritu who might possibly prevail for his inventive film, but this has surely got to be Linklater’s and deservedly so.

Best Original Screenplay

Boyhood (Richard Linklater)

Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo)

Foxcatcher (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness)

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)

Predicted Win – Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo)

Tough one to call here, all very worthy nominations. I’m going to go with ‘Birdman’ just because it won at the Golden Globes.

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper (Jason Hall)

Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)

The Imitation Game (Graham Moore)

The Theory Of Everything (Anthony McCarten)

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)

Predicted Win – Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)

Another hard one to call, I’m going to go with ‘Whiplash’ because ‘American Sniper’ looks a little bit thin on words and ‘Inherent Vice’ got polarising reception. That said, it could be any of the three, but ‘Whiplash’ looks like it has a very sharp script.

Best Foreign Language Film

Tangerines

Ida

Leviathan

Wild Tales

Timbuktu

Predicted Win – Leviathan

I’m going to go with ‘Leviathan’ here as it’s got nothing but outstanding critical reception and everyone seems to love it.

Best Animation Film

The Boxtrolls

Big Hero 6

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Song Of The Sea

The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

Predicted Win – How To Train Your Dragon 2

What a load of rubbish! Where on earth is ‘The Lego Movie’? Everyone loved that film (I myself found it overrated, but still it definitely deserves the win) and it redefined animation. No one took it seriously and thought it was going to be a flop, so it really surprised people when it turned out to be a good film, in fact in the UK, the highest grossing film of 2014. I don’t know what’s happened here, but it’s just not right at all. I personally would like to see ‘Big Hero 6’ win in this case, but I know it’ll go to ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’. This is perhaps the biggest snub of the whole list.

Best Cinematography 

Birdman (Emmanuel Lubezki)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Robert D. Yeoman)

Mr Turner (Dick Pope)

Unbroken (Roger Deakins)

Ida (Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski)

Predicted Win – Birdman (Emmanuel Lubezki)

This has to be for ‘Birdman’, Lubezki’s probable second win in a row after last year’s ‘Gravity’, no question about it.

Best Editing

Boyhood (Sandra Adair)

The Imitation Game (William Goldenberg)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Barney Pilling)

Whiplash (Tom Cross)

American Sniper (Joel Cox, Gary Roach)

Predicted Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel (Barney Pilling)

I haven’t got a clue here, but in terms of my personal choice, I would say the award should probably go to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. That said though, the editing in ‘Boyhood’ is excellent, the 12 years blend seamlessly together so this could also take the win.

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock)

The Imitation Game (Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald)

Interstellar (Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis)

Into The Woods (Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock)

Mr Turner (Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts)

Predicted Win – Into The Woods (Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock)

Good selection here, although I feel ‘Birdman’ could have had a nomination here as well. I’m going to go for ‘Into The Woods’ here as the production design looks superb from the trailers (haven’t seen the film) but then again, I expect ‘Interstellar’ to sweep up the technical awards, so a win here as well?

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Milena Canonero)

Inherent Vice (Mark Bridges)

Into The Woods (Colleen Atwood)

Maleficent (Anna B. Sheppard, Jane Clive)

Mr Turner (Jacqueline Durran)

Predicted Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel (Milena Canonero)

A tough one here, my personal choice would probably be ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, but could ‘Into The Woods’ or ‘Maleficent’ take the win here?

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher (Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier)

Guardians Of The Galaxy (Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White)

Predicted Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel (Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier)

A very tough one here, I think it’s between ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ as there is some excellent work in those films. ‘Foxcatcher’ is good as well, but I think the other two do the job better.

Best Original Score

The Imitation Game (Alexandre Desplat)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat)

Interstellar (Hans Zimmer)

The Theory Of Everything (Jóhann Jóhannsson)

Mr Turner (Gary Yershon)

Predicted Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat)

This is an interesting category. Despite Jóhann Jóhannsson winning at the Globes for ‘The Theory Of Everything’, I think this will go to Desplat for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ as the score really develops and is ingeniously crafted. There is essentially music for each character and then the music blends with multiple characters and it develops as a whole as the film progresses. ‘The Imitation Game’ and ‘Mr Turner’ are definite no’s here. Zimmer does have a chance here (my personal favourite) as the score is innovative after he has stuck to his same formula for a while now. In terms of snubs, the most obvious one to call would be Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score for ‘Gone Girl’ and also I personally quite liked Steven Price’s score for ‘Fury’. Mica Levi’s score for ‘Under The Skin’ would be an excellent addition here as would Clint Mansell’s score for ‘Noah’. Very interesting list here, I reckon Desplat could pip Zimmer and Jóhannsson at the win here.

Best Original Song

Selma (Common, John Legend)

Begin Again (Greg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois)

The Lego Movie (Shawn Patterson)

Beyond The Lights (Diane Warren)

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (Glenn Campbell, Julian Raymond)

Predicted Win – Selma (Common, John Legend)

Simply going on from the Globes win, I think this could be for ‘Selma’ to win. The only competition I can see here is possibly for ‘The Lego Movie’, but I think ‘Selma’ should probably have it here, particularly how it’s oddly absent from all other categories despite being nominated for ‘Best Picture’.

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper (John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin)

Birdman (Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga)

Interstellar (Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten)

Unbroken (Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, David Lee)

Whiplash (Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley)

Predicted Win – Interstellar (Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten)

Despite ‘Interstellar’ controversially being negatively received for its sound, I think it’ll clean up the technical awards so this should win.

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper (Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman)

Birdman (Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández)

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (Brent Burge, Jason Canovas)

Interstellar (Richard King)

Unbroken (Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro)

Predicted Win – Interstellar (Richard King)

Again ‘Interstellar’ will win, I’m betting, as it’s a technical marvel so should sweep up the entire technical awards.

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick)

Dawn Of The Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist)

Guardians Of The Galaxy (Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould)

Interstellar (Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher)

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer)

Predicted Win – Interstellar (Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher)

Surely this has to be ‘Interstellar’, right? The visual effects were marvellous and enthralling in that. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ would be a runner-up here as Weta’s effects are incredible, but the other three are just filler in my opinion, particularly ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’. Never once did I think to myself ‘Wow’ in terms of visuals, so I’m surprised this is here. A much more fitting option would be for ‘Godzilla’, I wasn’t a fan of the film but the visual effects were first-rate in that. I’d also argue that ‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies’ and ‘Noah’ deserve a place here as well.

Overall

Well, it really is an interesting set of nominations this year with its fair shares of worthy nominees and snubs. I’m expecting ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Birdman’ to share the bulk of the awards with ‘Boyhood’ taking Best Picture. ‘Interstellar’ should clear up the technical awards.

The acting awards are very predictable this year and it’s a real shame, in my opinion, that Bradley Cooper got nominated for Best Actor over the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, David Oyelowo, Timothy Spall and Ralph Fiennes.

Another horrific snub is ‘The Lego Movie’ in the Best Animated Film category, I honestly don’t know what the Academy are thinking.

In terms of the films that garner lots of nominations but don’t go on to win anything, I think this will be for ‘The Imitation Game’ this year which unfortunately is outmatched in all the categories that it is nominated for.

This should prove to be an interesting year for the Academy Awards and it really is a different mix to last year’s nominees and eventual winners. I can’t wait to see what happens!

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